Democratic nominee for mayor Eric Adams is promising to build 300 new miles of protected bike lanes across the five boroughs if he wins the Nov. 2 election.
Receiving the endorsement of bike and transit group StreetsPAC in Manhattan on Tuesday, Adams also told reporters he would ride his bike to work as mayor to encourage other New Yorkers to do the same.
“If elected, you’re going to see me on my bike all the time, riding to and from City Hall, in a real way,” he said. “We need to move and get 300 miles of protected bike lanes. I have close friends that won’t even ride their bikes because they’re so afraid, and so intimidated. This is the opportunity to do so. You’re going to need a bike rider to know why protected bike lanes are so important.”
Adams’ transportation platform also includes pledges to expand Citi Bike, secure bike parking and to “reallocate 25 percent of the city’s streetscape by 2025 from car-centric uses” to things like bike lanes, bus lanes, sidewalks, parks and plazas, according to his campaign website.
The pledge to bike as mayor contrasts Adams with the man he would succeed, Bill de Blasio, who as mayor has only biked on city streets once, earlier this year — his last year in office.
StreetsPAC backed de Blasio when he ran for mayor in 2013 and this year endorsed former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who lost the Democratic primary to Adams by 7,197 votes. On Tuesday the group’s executive director Eric McClure praised the nominee for his longtime presence at vigils for people killed in car crashes in Brooklyn.
With traffic deaths surging in recent years, McClure said his group had confidence Adams could turn around “Vision Zero,” de Blasio’s unrealized plan to reduce road fatalities to zero by 2024.
“No elected official has shown up more often, in more places, since he became president of Brooklyn, for victims of traffic violence,” McClure said. “I’ve been in many of those same vigils, but he’s been through a lot more than I have.”
Republican mayoral nominee Curtis Sliwa has said he would remove bike lanes if they go unused — a suggestion Adams rejected while questioning his opponent’s bona fides.
“Bike lanes are not used because we’re not encouraging and promoting and incentivizing their use,” he said. “I don’t even think he knows how to ride a bike.”